Let’s never be fooled by the deadline day hype ever again…

Date published: Friday 1st February 2019 9:52

Anything to say in the afternoon Mailbox? theeditor@football365.com

 

End this madness
The year is 2044,

Prime Minister James Corden is struggling to keep order 25 years on from the UKs catastrophic exit from the European Union.

The chariman of P*rnhub Premier League Philip Schofield, having abandoned all gambling and alcohol sponsorship, is at risk of losing the tv dral with Babestation.

England playing their home games in Doha after manager Sheikh Sam Bin Allardyce brokered a deal following the FA being kicked out of UEFA after Brexit, are struggling to qualify for the Asian Cup, perhaps hamustrung by an archaic 4-4-2 formation.

Twitter, having collapsed under the weight of its own sewage, now only exists with ITK accounts and Richard Keys.

Lord Rafa Benitez, finally put his money where his mouth is, and bought Newcastle United from Mike Ashley and ended up owning Sports Direct, Debenhams and House of Fraser.
He also sucessfully replaced Alan Sugar on the Apprentice.

PFMs everywhere are melting in the heat of the Qatari sun and are blaming the foreigns.

But one thing remains true.
One constant in the world.
One thing that hasnt or wont change.
Jim White and Sky will still be hyping the sh*t out of loan deals for Barcelona reserve players to mid ranking Premier League teams.

Deadline day. Kill it with fire.
DC, BAC

 

Yellow peril
Why are they asking people to send in photos of them wearing a certain colour today, so they can be shown on sky sports news? I’m pretty sure none of the responses are suitable for tv…..

Also, did anyone else notice their clanger where they said ‘Manchester United have confirmed that they are in talks with Tottenham bout the potential signing of N’Koudou.’ Oh and they said £60 million too… A few minutes later, his loan to Monaco was confirmed.
Govi (SSN, stop trying to make yellow a thing)

 

Window reflections
Now that the January transfer window is closed here are my two pennies worth:

Bournemouth has spent over £30m and have Nathaniel Clyne on loan. That flew under the radar.
Peter Crouch. Legend
Batshuayi could be the missing piece of the Crystal Palace jigsaw
Are Fulham trying to build a team of Liverpool castoffs?
The Football365 website seems to have the same glitch as at 31st August 2018 where the Tottenham INS shows as blank. Maybe one for your website team to look into?
Ko Itakura £1m from Kawasaki Frontale. I’ll donate £100 to every reader on this website if he makes 10 Man City league starts.
Now that Newcastle have broken their transfer record is Mike Ashley alright now?
Shinji Kagawa joins Besiktas on loan. Not news worthy in itself then I saw that he’s 29 years old. Surely that’s a typo or am I just getting old. I thought he was easily late 30’s by now!
Ross

 

…7.45am – Michy Batshuayi’s alarm goes off. He’s in great form, he’s off to spend the next 6 months on the French Riviera playing for Monaco.
9.15am – Monaco deal is off, but not to worry, Betis are in for me, up and coming team in La Liga, and Seville in the spring would be lovely. What a great day.
11.40am – Betis deal is off, but whats this, Spurs are in for me. Excellent. Champions League, get to stay in London, possibly convert to a permanent deal.
12.50 pm – Spurs deal is off. But Everton are in for me on a permanent deal. £35mil. Not to shabby. Chance to rebuild, it worked for Lukaku.
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.
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23.39pm – Googles *Transport links to Croydon*

Life comes at you fast.
DC, BAC

 

Blind transfers
Reading about Chelsea (of all teams!) trying to hold Spurs to ransom, why don’t we have blind, or semi-blind transfers?

Surely a selling club knows what price they will accept for a player, so why should they be allowed to change it depending on who the buyer is? So Batshuayi should be £35m (or however much) regardless of whether the buyer is Spurs, Barcelona, Crystal Palace, or Accrington Stanley. Once a fee is accepted, then the buyer is revealed, and personal terms agreed (or not).

I accept that clubs might not want to strengthen their competitors, so another option would be a semi-blind, where the seller has the chance to know if the potential buyer is in the same league or not, and set a “same league” price.

It seems a much fairer way all round.
Greg (United. Manchester United obviously).

 

Whinging Reds
I support 3 football teams, Hertha Berlin, Liverpool and Athlone Town (only occasionally these days) and ya know it hasn’t been great for the last 15 odd years. Finally Hertha are playing lovely football, Liverpool are top of the table and looking pretty solid and Athlone Town have not been accused of match fixing lately (grated the season hasn’t started yet) and when I jump on to F365 the mailbox is full of LFC fans whining.

Some beauties today; using the signing of Allison as a stick to belittle Klopp, I assume the same goes for VVD as he signed to play for Klopp, shit manager.
Liverpool have thrown the title away from better positions than this, would like to hear when.
Players don’t know if they are playing one week to the next, when fit the first 11 picks itself, the rest are squad players, comes with the job
Being damned for being less exciting, while being top of the league! This is the first season since the 80’s that when the opposition score I don’t go well that done then. Rodgers team couldn’t defend, that is why they went all out at the start of games, ultimately it is what cost them.
‘ if Klopp remains in charge’ yup, Jose is available, sign him up now, all part of Man U’s devious plan to scuttle the season

I do agree with the bloke about Clyne, thought it was strange one, maybe Clyne pushed for it as TAA is much better going forward and suits the system better. He is 27 so games are important.
Mel – Belin

 

…Can’t believe what I’m reading in the Mailbox today with regards Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp (or rather, I’m not at all surprised but still saddened and alarmed, so perhaps the issue lies with me?)

First we have Rob, Brighton, making the Neil Armstrong-esque leap from Nathaniel Clyne leaving on loan leading to Manchester City winning the title. Admittedly in hindsight Klopp letting his fourth-choice right-back leave wasn’t perhaps the best decision of all time, but it’s not exactly cost the team dear in the title race thus far (two points dropped and a one point net gain on City since Clyne packed his bags).

Next up we have Gofezo Jesus, whose name isn’t dissimilar to what I uttered when I read his nonsense. If Liverpool’s performances this season have been inconsistent then I don’t see a huge problem with being inconsistent for starters, but to assert that Klopp doesn’t acknowledge any failings in himself or his team is simply baffling.

In his first season and a half, Klopp’s Liverpool were known for their all-out high-pressing game and the fact that a number of players were fatigued towards the end of games – remember the weird fitness egg and his theories? Last season Klopp tweaked the tactic to deploy the press on a more selective basis to avoid burn-out but still maintaining the team’s attacking focus, whilst this season he has fundamentally changed formation and tactics in largely moving away from his preferred 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 and from blowing teams away via an all-out attacking style to a more measured and controlling style of play.

He has also changed tack on his transfer policy, from stating openly that he didn’t like spending big transfer fees and preferred working with players, to spending colossal sums on Van Dijk and Allisson, and notably those transfers were to upgrade two clear areas of weakness in defence and in goal which he had repeatedly and publicly said weren’t problems. He also signed Fabinho, a defensive midfielder of the type he has previously shown scant disregard for. These are hardly the signs of a man set in his ways and unwilling to reflect on himself and his team’s shortcomings.

Gofezo also remarkably states that this is a team that hasn’t yet learned how to win. The team has reached a ridiculous number of points exactly because they have learned how to win the kind of matches they would have lost in the past few seasons.

Finally, with regards the blame issue after last night’s game (and if you read the full quotes he did also speak about the lack of movement and acceleration required to break down teams), to my mind Klopp’s position of defending his players publicly is a positive thing. The team have just extended their lead at the top of the table to 5 points, and to openly berate them after a match which was played in difficult conditions might have done more damage than good to morale. Fergie was a master of never publicly criticising his players, but by god did they know when they’d not performed – he just kept the hairdryer treatment private. Klopp’s treatment of Karius (publicly defending him but taking action to replace him when appropriate) suggests he’s of the same approach and to me that’s no bad thing.

I get that we’re coming to the business end of the season and stress levels are rising, but I wouldn’t swap Liverpool’s position for anyone else’s, we have injured players close to returning and a reasonable run-in of fixtures so please, to all Liverpool fans out there, please try and maintain some perspective and not knee-jerk ourselves silly. A win doesn’t mean it’s our year any more than dropped points doesn’t mean Klopp is Roy Hodgson in disguise.
Jonny (Smiddy is either just an idiot or out on a massive fishing trip – possibly both) Dance

 

There once was a time that existed before Street Fighter 2, before anyone had heard of Oasis, when mobile phones were for d*ckheads, when going viral meant your mum sent you to the doctors’, when you had no option but to do your own commentary on football computer games, when you could get a copy of Match magazine and a bag of chips for a quid, and when people knew who Elton Welsby was – that time was 1990 – the year in which Liverpool last won the league.

So I get it Smiddy – I really do. You’ve just extended your lead at the top of the league and the Reds have fooled you that many times that you can’t bring yourself to even imagine just what it would be like if Liverpool finally landed that ever elusive league title.

But geez man – give it a rest – calling for Klopp’s sacking?!! You’re starting to sound like Stewie!
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London

 

I am a United fan, but am finding it intriguing reading some of the criticism going Klopp’s way from Liverpool fans in this afternoon’s mailbox.

Firstly – re: Clyne. Klopp let him go because he has 3 (three!) right backs in his squad. TAA, Gomez and Milner can also play there. Clyne isn’t going to get games.

What really made me write in though is the criticism Klopp has got. Used car salesman (yes I am taking the obvious bait!)?? You guys are having the best season you have had in the whole lifetime of the premier league, and you are giving him a hard time. For comparison in the year of the ‘slip’ you had 47 points at this stage.

Klopp recently talked about how intense the race is for him. Every manager would find it so with the weight of LFC’s history and the long wait. Hence that is why he will be more frustrated than normal and complain about the pitch like he did last night (I bet he apologised to the groundsman after though in private). As a United fan I would see Fergie always being more stressed when we were getting to this stage of the season – because the pressure is starting to really get on.

I’d give you that he doesn’t seem to have figured out his best midfield, but the attack and defence (injuries notwithstanding) are pretty settled.

Every team is going to drop points, and even title-winning teams are going to have some bad performances come this time of the season. The key – as I saw United manage to do quite well most seasons – was to keep grinding out the results. Liverpool are not doing too badly in doing that.

Finally, a quick thought for Fellaini. He should never have joined United. However, he gave his everything, and he even had some amazing performances (I remember a massive purple patch under Van Gaal when we beat Liverpool, Spurs and City in a short space of time) and some important goals. Good luck to him.

6 months ago Mourinho gave him a bumper contract, and wanted to get rid of Martial. Thank god the not-so-special-anymore one is gone.
Nishul Saperia (hope we don’t have to wait as long as Liverpool for our next title), London

 

…Smiddy, in all my years, I’ve never seen such a big Everton fan. It’s sweet how you’re dressing up like a Liverpool fan and saying Kloppo ought to quit whilst he’s behind. You knows he’s ahead though, right?

I get that Stevie Griffin got a lot of mailbox coverage during the Wenger years but that’s because they were clearly stagnating. You come across as a blue shite wading in with your nonsense to make us look like a bunch of idiots but most Liverpool fans are totally made up with our current position. Draw with Leicester or not, I’d have bitten your hand off for this position at any point all season and most Liverpool fans I know are the same.

We’re getting more and more mature as a team and it’s very exciting, although admittedly less exciting than when watching us was bat shit mental every other game. There’s no place for fans like you who have lost their minds over our ever improving team, lovely blend of youth and experience and a club genuinely engaged with the local community in a way I don’t ever remember it trying so hard to do.
Minty, LFC

 

…I don’t often respond to mailbox items, but Rob from Brighton is ridiculously wide of the mark in saying Nathaniel Clyne has a place in the current Liverpool side.

I heard him described a few seasons ago by a TV commentator (I moved to Australia in 2010) as a ‘meat and potatoes’ defender. At the time I thought this was very generous, as he was just about ok defending, unless confronted with pace and/or skill.

Going forward he was shocking! Never beating his man, or even committing a defender, he always stopped the dribble and passed sideways from the wide positions – often misplaced and too often making the receiving midfielder turn towards his own goal.

Rather than suggest a very ordinary defender can be part of a team that will contend for the Premier League this year (I do recognise that Djimi Traore won a Champs League medal), I would much rather see Milner or a range of other players take on the role. Heck, I’ll even put on my boots and back myself to be as good as Nate.
Ian, now living in Oz

 

Bottle jobs
In response to Pali J, London, I’m still trying to figure out how United threw away the title in 11/12. An 8-point lead up in smoke after a tepid 1-0 midweek defeat at Wigan, that ridiculous 4-4 against Everton, and a meek 1-0 surrender to citeh as the icing on the cake. I wouldn’t say they ‘bottled’ it though, this was a team of proven winners who basically got complacent and just f*cked it up. ‘Bottling’ is more a case of inhibition and nerves totally taking over and preventing you from carrying out normally simple actions. Sports teams/individuals are often accused of ‘bottling’ it when holding a lead but not winning in the end, when in fact a lot of the time they were simply caught up by a better opponent, it’s a lazy way of trying to explain why a team didn’t succeed. Really gets my goat!

And can someone explain how Spurs are often accused of ‘bottling’ the title the season Leicester won it!! They were never ahead, they seem to have suffered the ‘bottler’ tag just because they couldn’t overtake underdogs Leicester. But if your rival keeps winning, it doesn’t matter how ‘small’ they are, you ain’t catching them. I know they threw away their last couple of matches and Arsenal leap-frogged them into 2nd, annoying for their fans I can imagine, but nothing was really at stake and they clearly weren’t even trying. Doesn’t qualify as a ‘bottlejob’!

Let’s all hope they banish this tag forever by winning all their remaining matches and the title!
Shotgun Kev, MUFC


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